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Showing posts from April, 2013

Patch Gold: Common Redstart.

There I was, wandering ever more slowly round Surlingham this evening lamenting the fact that Spring had been quiet here and wishing for a Yellow Wagtail or Whinchat. What I stumbled across has reminded me why patch birding can be so rewarding, and is also my best 'find' here. An unfamiliar song was heard, that I couldn't quite pin onto a Linnet. Eventually the bird in question was accidentally flushed, and the red tail left me in no doubt and the song fell into place. Upon landing, I was treated to super views of a stonking male Common Redstart! I enjoyed watching him for around 45 minutes, sometimes disappearing out of view but faithful to a particular hedgerow. I would imagine the chances of him staying are slim; Redstart are rare breeding birds in Norfolk, and a female would of course need to drop in. However, the habitat does provide breeding potential. With this in mind I will keep the exact location to myself incase the former does occur. That would be superb!

The week just passed in review

Sensing that this was a week in which to catch up with migration in action, Debs and I headed out to the patch on Monday 15th after work. A super evening. On arriving at the river bend opposite Wood's End, that call of the wild resonated from across the Yare. Somewhere, a patch first, a Curlew was calling! I didn't have to search for him, since the large Wader flew over our heads and over Church Marsh! Elsewhere on the reserve, a Barn Owl was surprisingly and worryingly the first recorded here this year (better numbers at Claxton) and the reel of a Grasshopper Warbler also alerted us to another year first. Walking back to the car, at dusk, 5 Common Pipistrelle's caught insects high at tree top level.

Rockland Broad on Wednesday night held little of note, bar courting Great-crested Grebes.

Fast-forward to Saturday 20th, and another visit to Church Marsh mid morning. A Whitethroat sang from across the river, NFY. Willow Warbler appeared to be outnumbering Chiffchaff now, or …

Arrivals on the patch and on the coast.

A superb couple of days birding. Not only was I able to add a few much needed year ticks to the patch list, I also made it out to the coast and saw 3 very special birds.
Firstly, the patch. On Saturday, Willow Warbler was a new addition at Surlingham, max 2 birds present. There were 4 Green Sandpiper at Wood's End, and finally a Swallow flew down the Yare. I was pleased to catch up with a group of at least 20 Redwing, some in song, and a single Fieldfare. Over at Rockland, plenty of common Raptors were on the wing including a pair of Common Buzzard. 2 more Swallow flew away high to the east, and on the ground I encountered Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies and a Common Toad catching some rays.
Today, a similar picture as above but Blackcap and Sedge Warbler were new in at Church Marsh. No sign of the reported Garganey at Rockland, gutted.

News broke of 2 Long-eared Owls at Winterton, and having missed the Yarmouth bird I couldn't resist. Thankfully a kind gentleman ha…

On your marks.......Patch and Brecks.

Much like Gary Lineker, I've been everywhere lately. Not all of this 'everywhere' has been birding related sadly. I can however report that Lisbon is a super city, and it was here on the way back from beach football that I saw my first Bat of the year, probably a Pipistrelle sp. I have also been to Bath for a wedding, and the return journey through Berkshire threw up 15 Red Kites. An unidentified Butterfly near Thetford was a first of sorts.
Things are starting to pick up on the patch, finally. On Sunday 7th, Debs and I took the short walk from the pub to the hide in order to be back in time for dinner. I was thrilled to encounter 5 Brambling near the ferry, a sure sign that Winter was not yet prepared to loosen its grip. On the lagoon, 3 Shoveler had returned and a Little Egret stalked a smaller pool behind. Walking back, we stopped dead in our tracks as the sounds of a pair of courting Little Owl rang out. This pair have once again been pushed out of their preferred nest…